Air Force falcon mascot injured in West Point prank

Air Force falcon mascot injured in West Point prank

Ronald Cleveland #3 of the Air Force Falcons celebrates after scoring in the 1st half against the San Diego State Aztecs at SDCCU Stadium on October 12, 2018 in San Diego, California.

Air Force's 22-year-old falcon mascot, Aurora, is reportedly suffering from "potentially life-threatening injuries" due to a West Point prank, according to The Gazette.

Lt. Col. Tracy A. Bunko, an Air Force Academy spokesperson, said Aurora returned home Saturday evening and has been able to "fly around in her pen" as of Sunday. Dollar said the cadets turned over the birds Saturday morning, with Aurora's wings bloodied - likely from thrashing inside the crate.

Sam Dollar, Air Force's falconry team adviser, told The New York Times on Sunday that two West Point cadets took the birds, threw sweaters over them and stuffed them into dog crates.

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Aurora was being flown back to Colorado to see a specialist at the Air Force Academy, according to Troy Garnhart, associate athletic director for strategic communications at the school.

"Not sure of the extent, but we are getting it back to (Colorado Springs) where a specialist is to have it examined", Garnhart said. Hopefully it's not as bad as it seems. Falcons in captivity tend to live about 25 years, according to the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson, Wyo.

The bird is now being flown back to Air Force on the team's charter flight following its 17-14 loss at Army.

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